Greater Spotted Woodpecker
My bird feeding array has been set up outside the window of my study. I can gaze from here and contemplate the important things in life such as, “ is my trellis crooked, or is my neighbour’s fence slightly off horizontal?”. You know, the kind of things that keep pedants awake at night. As I flick through eBay looking for a laser-sighted spirit level, a flash of black and white passes the window and lands on the peanut-drilled log.
This is the male Greater Spotted Woodpecker (note, it is the woodpecker that is greater, not the spots). The large, oval shoulder patches are not the source of his name. The white marks are more like splodges. The spotted element of the name comes from the white spots on the wing feathers. They are visible in the photos, but are revealed properly as the wing is spread.
There is also a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Compare the two as one might compare the Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers. With the larger Dendrocopos major around starling-sized whilst Dendrocopos minor measures up to a sparrow.
There is also a female and I assume them to be a pair nesting nearby. There is ancient woodland very close in 3 directions with ample nesting opportunities. The female lacks the red nape patch of the male.